Since launching the Visa Travel Currency prepaid card in 2003, cardholders at Axis Bank Ltd. have loaded more than US$1 billion into their card accounts, making Axis the first Indian bank to achieve that milestone, according to Visa Inc.

Axis issues the reloadable magnetic stripe card in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, Singapore dollars, Swiss francs, Swedish kroners and Japanese yen.

Corporate customers form a majority of Axis’ customer base, while other key consumer segments include leisure travelers, students studying abroad and medical tourists, Visa noted in a statement.

“The Axis Bank Travel Currency Card programs have proven to be very popular with our customers, who have loaded in excess of US$100 million into their [card accounts] over April and May this year alone,” S K Chakrabarti, Axis executive director, said in the statement. “With the economy opening up and international travel volumes increasing, we expect more and more customers to avail of the service.”

The demand for prepaid travel cards in India is growing among organizations as the country has seen increased economic growth, Visa added in the statement.

The Visa Travel card is available off the shelf at Axis branches and some Full Fledged Money Changers, which are outlets where travelers may exchange rupees for other currencies. Consumers may use the card at all ATMs and payment terminals linked to Visa.

Axis operates a network of more 1,000 branches and 4,300 ATMs across the country.

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